Friday, August 28, 2015

I Need a Break Already?!?

We just finished our 4th week of school. As you know, I am schooling my own 2 littles with an additional 2 littles and I am co-leading our homeschool support group this year. By the end of today, I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

I know that there are other women out there with so much more on their plates than me. There are other families with more than 2 and 4 children. I know that balancing all these responsibilities can be done. I just don't know how they do it!

I'm not sure if I'm just wired differently or if I'm just plum lazy. Either way, I don't have the capacity at this point to be able to balance all this all the time and not get overloaded. I just can't.

There is a solution!

I have come across something called Sabbath Schooling. It is a schedule where you school for 6 weeks, then take the 7th week off.

School 6 weeks.

Rest 1 week.


You can read more detailed posts on Sabbath Schooling on other blogs here, here and here

I have looked at this before, but never really needed to apply it until now. After taking a look at the calendar, we will school for 2 more weeks, then take one week off. During that time we can get other things done that have kinda been pushed to the back burner, such as: finishing making some file folder games and other homemade learning games: going through Jonathan's closet - again, reorganizing the school shelf, etc....  With a 35 Week school year, we can still be done by the end of May, unless life happens and we have to extend the lessons a little. 

Yes, this will save my sanity & the children's little spirits and keep everyone from burn out.

Linking up with Fellowship Fridays

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm Guilty Too

I am writing about this subject a day or two after I heard read the news and all the scrutiny about Josh Duggar's secret sin.  You can find out what I'm talking about here if you don't already know.  

I don't normally talk about these types of things on this blog. However, this situation has affected me so much; much more than I ever imagined and in a surprising way.

I am not eloquent at all. I struggle to verbalize my thoughts, but I would like to attempt to articulate what God's Holy Spirit has shown me. 

The minute I see the confession Josh Duggar made on the Duggar Family Blog, my heart breaks shatters and I start to search the internet to find out what happened, how this came to be, etc.... I cannot tell you what pain invaded my heart and soul. More over the fact that the enemy has attacked another marriage in an attempt to shred it to pieces than of the betrayal of it all. My grief went further than the physical layer. 

Then I started to get angry. I was becoming angry at the fact that this supposedly Bible-believing guy had the nerve to proclaim God's truths about family, marriage and so on, yet he was denying Christ by his life-style.  


Yes, I was becoming quite angry. 

Then I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. Not for becoming angry, but for sitting here growing angry at someone else's sin when I have sin of my own. 

I must stop for a second and say that I am in no way shape or form minimizing the pain, hurt and agony this family is now facing. I am not for one second condoning this vile act of immorality and deception. Don't get me wrong on those points. 

But I couldn't help but to stop looking at Josh's secret sin to look toward myself and take some spiritual inventory. God's Spirit asked me, "Is your talk louder than your walk?"  

My heart lamented even more. How can I neglect time, service and love for the Almighty Living God of the universe? How can I lack zeal and passion for Jesus the Christ and His gospel? How can I dare to set things of this world, and even myself, above the One True God? 

We tend to look at the outward and physical side of situations, yet we fail tremendously to see the underlying (and much more important) spiritual side. Josh did commit physical adultery, but ultimately he committed spiritual adultery against God Almighty.  And so do the rest of us. 

Spiritual adultery involves or includes any kind of idolatry. We often think of idolatry as worshipping  or bowing down to man-made idols, or statues. As defined by Eternal Perspective Ministries, "an idol is any God-substitute, anything we make bigger than Him. If we take some element of popular culture - whether it's our leisure, pastime, hobby, or special interest in sports or arts or music - and make that an idol instead of serving the Lord, it becomes our god. We are set in orbit around it, and God becomes secondary. Idolatry is when God is removed from the throne and something else is put in His place." 

In our depravity, we are prone to push God out and put other things or people in His place. What are we reading? What are we watching? What are we listening to? What activities take up so much of our time? 

So many times, this has been true in my life. I have made my husband, my children, music, Facebook, sleeping and so on more important than God. Anything I love with all my heart above God is an idol. These idols have a way of just sort of slipping onto that throne which belongs to the Lord Almighty, sometimes unaware to us. That happens too many times. 

Yes. I am guilty of spiritual adultery. Time and time again I have been unfaithful to the Lord. Time and time again He is faithful to forgive and restore me. 

Let us examine ourselves and humbly ask the Lord to forgive us of our adultery against Him.

"How quickly we are to break the vows we made
As our unbelief leads our hearts astray
How long before He turns His face away?

We belong to the Jealous One
We belong to the Jealous One
Whose blood bought us back, whose victory won
Our worship and praise to Him belong

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."  ~1 John 2:15-17

Linking up with Fellowship Friday

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Moments to Remember ~ The School Table

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end, these are the moments that keep us going; the ones we need to remember. 
(created by Homeschool Creations)

It's true. Our table is a MESS while we're doing school work.

We aren't pulling everything out all at once. I am constantly changing the books and things we need for the different subjects, but the table is usually full all the time. The table gets cleared off when it's time for lunch, and I usually have some helpers with that. Then we go back to school work after lunch and it gets messy again. 

The main item that is usually on the table is our DIY supply organizer: a basket full of containers (up-cycled veggie cans) of pencils, markers, rulers and those type of supplies. I'm not sure why it's not on the table in this shot, but I think I was going through the library books log while Adelle was working on her math independently. Nonetheless, if you stop by unannounced during the school day, this is what you'll find.       :-D

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ August 21, 2015

In Our Homeschool This Week
Bible - This year we're learning the names of Jesus, i.e. The Bread of Life, The Prince of Peace, The Light of the World, etc.... This week we've looked at Jesus' life, how He was as a child and how He lived, before we go into His names. 

History - We've studied about the first permanent settlement in America from England - Captain John Smith and Jamestown. A read aloud to accompany that is the story of a couple of children who lived in Jamestown. Historical fiction. I love it. 

Science - We've been learning about how air pushes against everything, complete with a couple of simple experiments, or living illustrations. 

Language - Jonathan plucks along in the Abeka 1st grade phonics program. He has learned to read big words, I guess just from sitting in on Adelle's lessons for so long, but I'm going over all this stuff with him to be sure he knows how to sound out words he doesn't know when he gets to them. He rounds that phonics program off with handwriting practice every day.  

Adelle uses Language Lessons for Today for 3rd grade, Spelling Power and Cursive Connections.  My Father's World curriculum has suggested those study books for 3rd grade language arts. 
All the children get plenty of read alouds and Adelle picks her own books to read to me so I can assess her reading progress. I plan to write a post about the curriculum we've chosen for this year. 

Music - The children started piano lessons back up this week. They both expressed how much they've missed their piano teacher. I hope we can continue with those lessons, as both of my children have auditioned for choirs and may get to be in them this year.  

Art - I am absolutely no good with art. I don't enjoy it, I don't do well planning art lessons or activities. We do frequent the library every week for Story Time and our new librarian (she's the best!) has had a simple craft to go along with the stories. I'm counting that as art for these guys. They also make crafts with Grandma in Sunday School each week. (Thanks Grandma!)
New For Me This Year
If you've been following my blog posts here, you know that I have taken on two other children to homeschool, 5 yrs old and 2 yrs old. In turn I seriously need to have some kind of plan to the day and organization. So, I've made assignment and chore charts to keep my sanity and the house picked up. Part of that plan is working. The other.... not so much. I have to tweak a bit....

What's Working/Not Working For Us
Working - The assignment chart I made is based on the task cards system over at The Unlikely Homeschool. Her system is based on Sue Patrick's workbox system that I've seen on numerous homeschool blogs. I will explain further detail about my assignment chart in another post, but let me say here that this assignment chart has done wonders for me. It helps all of us to see what to expect for the day and to keep us on task. It has helped keep my sanity trying to school 4 littles.

Not Working - I made a chore chart based on the system from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Assigning chores themselves is fantastic. The chart I made.... not fantastic. The pockets I made to hold the chore cards is too small and too tight. I assign very specific chores, not general ones. So my children can have up to 6 or 7 cards in their pocket per day. And the tickets I printed off are too small for the pockets I made, so they fall down into the pocket and since the pocket opening is too small, it's difficult to reach down and retrieve them. UGH. I don't even like talking about it! I will create a separate post about this after I get a new chart made.

My Children's Favorite Thing This Week Was
Adelle - She is really enjoying the little science experiments we've been doing.

Jonathan - It was beginning piano lessons again.

My Favorite Thing This Week Was
I went to a Homeschooling 101 meeting last night where a couple of veteran homeschool moms shared with us newbies (I'm 4 years in.... I'm still a newbie) some strategies they used in their homes and lives for homeschooling and a couple of their kids are on to college.

It is very encouraging to know that you aren't the only one dealing with situations and feeling overwhelmed and stressed out at times. So, I'm glad to say that I'm not the only one who can't get all 3 major tasks done in one day: school the children, feed them and clean the house. Two out of three isn't all that bad.     :-)

In My Life This Week
Growing up in church all my life, I think sometimes the truths that seem so elementary actually go a lot deeper, especially when they apply to where we are in our walk with the Lord. It's one thing to read the Word, get a revelation and think on it for a day or two. The deeper end is applying those truths to our heart and lives and obeying the Lord's instructions and letting Him shape and mold us.

I am finding myself in this exact place as of late. I have asked God to use anything He finds necessary to conform me to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. He begins to answer that request, and I am resistant to it.... This week has been so much of unnecessary struggle and heartache because of my resistance. Why must I have such a thick skull?

Helpful Homeschooling Tips or Advice
Give yourself some grace. Your planned out schedule is a goal, not a master over you. Life happens. Give yourself some grace.

Scripture For The Week
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.    2 Corinthians 12:9

Linking up with
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Enjoying Science

Science with air
Is that bottle really empty? 
Bubbles! Water is pushing air out of the bottle!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Moments to Remember ~ Challenges

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end, these are the moments that keep us going; the ones we need to remember. 
(created by Homeschool Creations)

Jonathan isn't always quite so eager to tackle his challenges. This stress of trying to figure out what to make with his little construction paper squares and glue stick was short-lived.  He came up with an idea and it was beautiful. I'll have to share a pic of the final result later, b/c I did not get a pic of his masterpiece and it currently hangs on the wall at the library. 

We tend to make known all the good fun times and fail reflect on the not-so-fun times. We do need to remember that this is indeed LIFE and life isn't always easy. Thankfully, the Lord is always with us, guiding us each step of the way. 

Linking up with Fellowship Fridays.

School Has Begun!

I'm not sure how to begin this post. We started school this week on Monday. I am schooling my own littles, who are in 1st and 3rd grade. I've also taken on a Mr. K5 and a 2 yr old sweet tot. I am glad to say that the littlest one is only here for 2 hours, sometimes 3, and Mr. K5 goes home in the afternoon.  My sanity needs the nightly restoration.

There is so much to say for this first week and not enough time or energy to thoroughly express everything I want to say. I certainly don't have time or energy to proofread and organize my thoughts, so my apologies in advance if this post is scattered.


Let's just see if I can highlight the week in pictures with brief explanations. 

Ms. Sugar Bear
3rd Grader
Mr. Little Man
1st Grader
Traditional 1st Day of School Pancake Breakfast
(with strawberries!)

Working on My Daily Learning Notebook
from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Story Time at the library...

...where we heard this story for the first time, 

with a craft to go with it.

Our very first science experiment. 

Can an egg float in water?
Does adding salt make a difference?

We were so busy doing that we didn't get very many pictures! We did so much more. Maybe after I am adjusted to our new early-rise schedule, I can go back and expand on the details.

However, before I go, I do want to say that I do not take lightly the responsibility laid before me. I don't mean giving my children (and the others) just an education. I'm talking about the Foundation on which we raise the children. 

The Lord is Truth. 

He is the Living God. 

The Almighty. 

The Great I Am.

The Bright  Morning Star.

The Holy One. 

Creator of all things. 

The Savior of the world! 

To not base our lives completely and most utterly upon Him is nothing but growing in wickedness. To grow in only knowledge without God is to grow in wickedness. Period. May we always always put Him before everything. If we must skip a subject for a day, let it be math or language or science, NOT His Word.

May He use anything and everything necessary to conform this family to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord's glory revealed to us and reflected in our lives far outweighs the exhaustion I feel at this moment. 

Being a worker at home, raising my children and loving my husband is my ministry. There is no greater calling than that.

To the glory of His name!! Amen!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! Romans 8:18  Amplified Bible

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